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Living Labs accelerates innovation and co-creation in Munich


To tackle current urban challenges, the City of Munich has set up a range of Living Labs, where smart city solutions are being tested. This development is expected to generate a booming marked for different city actors to work together and co-create smart city solutions to increase quality of life in Munich.

The City of Munich in Germany is a power zone of research institutes, student talent, access to large companies and venture capital. In that sense, you could say that Munich is a unique and successful city.

Meanwhile, the success of the city has also brought many challenges to the municipality. Urban growth and sustainable development is becoming more complicated and involves a broader and larger range of stakeholders with an even larger agenda – this could really stress any city planner.

To tackle some of these challenges, the city has set up a number of Living Labs in different districts, where smart city solutions are being tested. By deploying new technology and the intelligent use of data, Munich wants to reduce its fossil fuel consumption and improve its residents’ quality of life. Some of the topics in focus are E-Mobility; renewable energy and energy storage usage on a district level; and IoT deployed for smart buildings and smart metering using Big Data.

Co-creation under the same roof at the new Munich Urban Colab

Among some of the more interesting and upcoming opportunities to become part of a Living Lab is the Munich Urban Colab.  UnternehmerTUM (Technische Universität München) and the City of Munich are building a new Innovation and Business Creation Centre for Smart City Solutions.

Already next year in 2020, start-ups, corporate innovators, scientists and creatives from the most diverse sectors and disciplines will be working together under the same roof on intelligent technologies and services for the city of the future. Representatives from the Access Cities programme will also be “on site” to spot potential openings to connect different actors working with smart city solutions.


Smart city solutions being tested in real life settings

Another very interesting Living Lab is the “Smarter Together” project in the Munich districts of Neuaubing-Westkreuz/Freiham, where pioneering smart city solutions are being implemented. Around 30,000 people live in this district on the western edge of the city. Whereas Freiham is a new housing development area, many of the residential properties in Neuaubing-Westkreuz are from the 1960s and 1970s. This diverse district is therefore an ideal test ground for Munich’s smart city solutions and reflects current urban realities.

The “Smarter Together” project aims to cut CO2 emissions by more than 20 per cent, increase the use of renewable energy to above 20 per cent and increase energy efficiency by more than 20 per cent. Munich strives to be completely CO2-neutral in the districts of Neuaubing-Westkreuz/Freiham by 2050.

Smarter Together München – Technologie

Capital as an accelerator for innovation

Public funds from the EU and the City of Munich are not the sole contributors in the Living Labs. A strong group of companies, headquartered in Munich, participates in establishing Living Labs that support the creation of innovative ideas and entrepreneurship. BMW Group – for instance – is not only collaborating with universities, but also encouraging entrepreneurs and other tech innovators to join their “Start-Up Garage”, which generates many interesting and sustainable opportunities addressing the challenge of future mobility and urban transportation.  

Join the Access Cities programme

The Access Cities programme follows the exciting development with Living Labs and co-creation in Munich and looks for potential challenges and opportunities for companies to join.

If you want to know more, please get in touch with the Access Cities representative in Munich.

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